When you are convicted of a DUI in Massachusetts your license will be suspended. Each state has its own motor vehicle registry system. The communications regarding license suspension and convictions doesn’t always become available right away. In many instances the MA Department of Motor Vehicles or Mass DMV won’t learn about a defendant’s out of state conviction until years later.
This DUI license suspension case came about when a Massachusetts man was convicted of one case in MA and two other cases in Connecticut. The Mass DMV originally suspended the defendant’s license for eight years or until 2012. Many years later, the Mass DMV learned that the defendant was convicted in Connecticut for two additional crimes. Once the Mass DMV learned of the additional convictions, the Mass DMV wanted to suspend the defendant’s license even further to 2016.
The Mass DMV has essentially dealt with this late information issue by starting the clock on a person’s license suspension on the day the Mass DMV is notified of the out of court conviction. In a recent ruling, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has determined that the Mass DMV can no longer continue this practice. Recently nominated Supreme Judicial Court Judge Fernande R.V. Duffly took part in the decision.
The MA Appeals Court has ruled that the Mass DMV must start the license suspension clock at the time when the defendant was convicted of the crime and not when the Mass DMV learns of the conviction. The MA Appeals Court ruled that it doesn’t matter if the Mass DMV doesn’t learn about the conviction until years later. It will be interesting to see if the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will be hearing this DUI license suspension issue. If so, Judge Duffly may get another chance to look into this issue.